So much for supporting the troops — Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Miguel Perez, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
The Trump administration reached a new low on Monday when agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported Miguel Perez to Mexico.
Perez has been in the United States since he was eight years old. He did two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder related to his service.
Perez, who has been held in a federal facility in Wisconsin for over a week, believed that by joining the Army in 2001, being wounded in the line of duty, and putting his life on the line for America, he would become a citizen.
Instead, the Trump administration’s overly aggressive immigration forces sent him away.
Perez was denied citizenship because of a conviction for a nonviolent drug offense in 2008. He’s been in prison ever since. But as he explained to the judge, he’d turned to drugs as a result of his untreated PTSD.
Moreover, he had been getting an education in prison and was eager to get his life back together. And he had family and friends in Chicago who were desperate to be reunited with him. In Mexico, his family says, he will be “homeless and penniless.”
Perez’s story is not unique. Under Trump, ICE has ripped up the Obama-era standard of prioritizing violent criminals. Instead, they are apparently going after every undocumented immigrant they can find.
ICE agents have targeted a Sacramento church during a Mother’s Day service. They staked out a hypothermia shelter in Alexandria. Agents went to family courts to arrest a battered woman at her protective hearing in El Paso. And they even worked with Motel 6 managers to seize guests from their rooms outside Phoenix.
Trump has claimed that he understands the plight of people like Perez. “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” he tweeted in September.
Trump’s actions are not those of someone who feels the slightest sympathy for people like Perez. So even though Perez gave his all for this country, the Trump administration is kicking him out.